January 22, 2021
NBA Rumors: Bucks Could Acquire Ben Simmons For Khris Middleton & Jrue Holiday In New Trade Idea

With Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons currently struggling and the Milwaukee Bucks off to a similarly slower start than expected with a 9-5 record, a recently published list of trade ideas suggested that both teams could engage in a blockbuster trade, one that would send the Australian point guard to Milwaukee in exchange for Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.

On Wednesday, NBA Analysis Network posted a list of trade scenarios where the Bucks could hypothetically target another star to pair alongside two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. In its entry for Simmons, the site explained that the 24-year-old has accomplished a lot in just four seasons, playing in two All-Star Games, making All-NBA Third Team honors once, and being named to last season's All-Defensive First Team.

"He is a legit triple-double threat every time he steps on the court and given his ball-handling skills at [almost] 7-feet tall, Ben Simmons is a complete mismatch for every other team in the league," the outlet added. "If you put a guard on him, he will post them up and score over them in the paint, but if you put a big man on him, Simmons has the ability to blow past him to the rim."

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks (L) defends Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers (R).
Getty Images | Sarah Stier

Talking about how the Bucks could benefit from Simmons' talents, NBA Analysis Network wrote that he and Antetokounmpo could line up as two of the league's best defensive players and could be "virtually impossible to stop." Both men ranked in the top 10 in triple-doubles in the 2019-20 campaign, and are known for finding multiple ways to score while also making their teammates look better through their playmaking skills.

As shown on his Basketball-Reference page, Simmons' numbers have mostly dipped over the first 12 games of the 2020-21 season, though he still has a solid all-around stat line, with averages of 12.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, eight assists, and 1.5 steals per game. His field-goal shooting is also down to 50 percent, and his three-point shooting remains below-average, as he has converted on just one out of five attempts from beyond the arc thus far.

Although it wasn't explained how Middleton and Holiday could help the Sixers if the proposed transaction becomes a reality, they are both among the Bucks' top players behind Antetokounmpo.

Middleton is currently averaging 22.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.6 assists, while Holiday -- who was acquired in the offseason from the New Orleans Pelicans -- has produced 15.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and two steals per game, per Basketball-Reference. Both players are also shooting at least 38 percent from beyond the arc, which could allow them to provide some much-needed spacing for the Sixers' superstar center, Joel Embiid, if they get moved to Philadelphia.